Top Five Tactics Planned for Meeting Data Center Service Needs
It’s been amazing to see the modern data center grow and evolve. Coming out of the latest AFCOM Data Center World conference I had the chance to see just how innovative data center leaders are becoming. They’re looking to deploy even higher levels of efficiency while supporting some of the most advanced business requirements.
Now, with new considerations around the edge, mergers and acquisitions, and advanced cloud solutions – it feels like the data center is more popular than ever. According to JLL, the global data center market is poised to continue surging for the foreseeable future. JLL’s 2018 Data Center Outlook reveals that even after a record-shattering 2016, cloud operators are still leasing data centers across all major North American markets, taking approximately 25% of available data center space in many major cities.
Let’s pause here for a moment and take a closer look at the data center market. In the AFCOM State of the Data Center report, we found some interesting trends for meeting ever-evolving data center service needs. What did we see? The most commonly employed tactics to achieve data center needs are cloud and expanding capacity in existing data centers, followed by colocation/managed services.
To that extent, let’s talk about the Top Five.
- Cloud. I’m not surprised here. I’m entirely seeing more data center leaders align themselves with cloud vendors to create powerful extensions and connection capabilities. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market revenue grew 18.5 percent in 2017 to total $260.2 billion, up from $219.6 billion in 2016. All of this will impact the way we deliver essential cloud resources and services. Remember, it’s not just infrastructure. Instead, you can work with new systems and new types of services – like edge. That said, be ready for the cloud and ensure your data center can support these evolving models.
- Expansion of data center capacity. More data center providers are living on the ‘edge.’ We see more organizations deliver capacity through data center expansion and integration with the edge. Consider this, JLL points out that consumers are more connected now than ever before, and speed is of the essence. Therefore, data center users have an urgent need to be near end users. ‘Edge’ markets, such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, began to see an uptick in absorption over the second half of 2017, a trend that should continue through 2018.
- Colocation/managed services. It’s pretty clear that the data center industry continues to mature—and enterprises are looking outward. According to JLL, in 2018 and beyond, users will consistently seek add-on services and outsource data center expertise as hybrid models, such as hybrid architecture with local cloud or extensions to hyperscale providers, become the norm. To that extent – working with colocation and managed services is a great way to consume new types of add-on services and even embrace a hybrid model. When designing new data center services, don’t be afraid to understand new models around the utility of IT. That is, how can organizations more effectively consume your data center services in today’s cloud economy?
- Renovation/refurbish. Many data center leaders are renovating their data centers to better support the requirements of a business. A great way to do this is to retrofit your ecosystem with easy-to-integrate solutions. For example, modular cooling and data center designs are great ways to install new solutions without having to do extensive forklift upgrades. Refurbishing your data center is a great way to keep your core while still involving new systems and upgrades. However, make sure to work with the right types of partners and solutions that will make renovation an easier process.
- Build new. We’re seeing more organizations and cloud leaders deploy new data center builds. A recent Jones Lang Lasalle report indicates that overall, North American markets account for over 60% of the near-400 megawatts (MW) currently under construction globally, with Las Vegas/Reno (40 MW), Toronto (39 MW), Chicago (34 MW), Dallas/Fort Worth (22 MW) and Northern Virginia (22 MW) leading the pack. Despite many U.S. occupiers looking to expand their global footprint in 2017, U.S. and Canada were responsible for 363.5 MW of new inventory last year. However, these aren’t your traditional data center models. They’re building to support cloud, edge, IoT, DevOps, data analytics, security solutions, and much more.
For your organization, meeting data center service needs will help you stay competitive in an evolving field. Remember, you’re not just trying to host cloud workloads. Instead, it’s what customers are leveraging the cloud for that’s interesting. We see more requirements regarding innovations like edge, IoT, and even DevOps. That’s right, your data center and infrastructure solutions are here to support genuinely next-generation functions like micro-services, containerization, and DevOps.
Be sure to plan and prepare your own data center ecosystem so that it can be ready to support all of these new initiatives. Remember, the cloud still needs a home – and that home continues to be the data center.
CTO, MTM Technologies
Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in a variety of industries including data center, cloud, virtualization, security, AI, mobility, edge solutions, and much more. His architecture work includes large-scale virtualization and cloud deployments as well as focusing on overcoming emerging business challenges. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues on everything that is technology.
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